Halo Halong Pinoy

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Chicosci bagged the award for MTV asia's favorite artist for RP

The eight-year-old five-member band Chicosci won over five other bands for the 2008 MTV Favorite Artist of the Philippines honors at the superstar-studded ceremony which will be held here tonight at the Arena of Stars in Genting Highlands. It’s the first time for Malaysia to host the awards which was first established in 2002 in Singapore.

The band, a contract artist of MCA-Universal Music, was officially formed in 2000 when Miguel Chavez (vocalist), Mong Alvarez (guitar), Carlos Calderon (bass) and former member Sonny Baquisal (guitar) decided to join (and win) an inter-school Battle of the Bands. Chicosci has since graduated from an after-school activity to full-time profession. The band now has Joel Salvador (drums) as member, with newest member Ariel Lumanlan on guitars.

It’s one of the 10 regional awards at stake, with six international awards.

Internet voting for the MTV Awards nominees lasted for two months. The MTV people didn’t reveal how many votes Chicosci got.

Multiplatform Content, MTV Networks Asia. “With them around, we expect an electrifying

The Pussycat Dolls will perform their hit single, When I Grow Up (from their sophomore album Doll Domination, also released in the Philippines by MCA-Universal Music), for the first time in Asia. Response to the single has been overwhelming in the US since it was released.

At a press conference Thursday held at the Kuala Lumpur Hilton (where the Pussycat Dolls are billeted), Nicole Scherzinger was asked what she wanted to be when she “grows up” (in reference to the song) and, without batting an eyelash and flashing a wide smile, she said, “I’ve always wanted to be like Lea Salonga,” adding that she’s proud of her Filipino heritage. Nicole’s father is Filipino, surnamed Valiente, and her mother is Russian. She was born in Hawaii where she was raised and studied. “I’ve never wanted to be anything but a singer and a dancer,” she added. “In fact, I auditioned for Miss Saigon when I was 17, almost seven years ago, when I was in New York. Did I pass? I wouldn’t know because I forgot all about it and concentrated on my studies.”

Asked if she knows any other Filipino artists, Nicole mentioned Jasmine Trias, who placed third in the Americal Idol Season 3, also born and raised in Hawaii by Filipino parents.

Nicole then recalled that she and the four other Dolls — Ashley Roberts, Jessica Sutta, Melody Thornton and Kimberly Wyatt — once visited Manila to promote their first eponymous album.

“It was a very emotional visit,” recalled Nicole who’s a deadringer for Hollywood actress Suzanne Pleshette, “because it was my very first visit to my homeland.”

At the presscon, the five girls were given batik malongs as gifts from MTV. Asked if she knew how to wear it, Nicole stood from her stool onstage and gladly demonstrated how to wrap the malong around her gorgeous figure.

“This is how it is done in the Philippines,” she smiled. “Doesn’t it look nice?”

The Chicosci guys are here to receive the award.

It must be recalled that the band’s first two albums, Revenge of the Giant Robot (2001) and Method of Breathing (2002), were released under the major label EMI Philippines. The single Sink or Swim from their debut effort, established the band as one of the forerunners of the new generation of rock. The song garnered several accolades, including Best Directed Video at the 2001 MTV Pilipinas Awards. Their success continued with their critically-acclaimed sophomore album, Method of Breathing, which allowed further recognition for the band after the song Paris dominated the Philippines’ only rock station’s charts for over a year. Paris held the No. 1 spot for more than 52 weeks on NU 107’s countdown, which ultimately gave Chicosci the NU 107’s Song of the Year award in 2002.

In 2004, the band released the album Icarus under Viva Records and it won for them MTV’s Lokal Artist of the Month in May 2004. The singles Shallow Graves and An Argument both landed spots in NU 107’s weekly and year-end countdowns.

In 2006, however, Chicosci finally found mainstream success with the release of its new self-titled album under MCA-Universal Music, its present home. Originally released independently, the album has been repackaged with 15 songs, plus a music video.

“It’s Chicosci’s best work so far,” said Katherine Choy, frontline executive of MCA-Universal Music.

Chicosci is also slowly making waves across the region, spreading their music in various countries in Southeast Asia. Aside from sharing the stage with American big-name acts such as Fall Out Boy, Good Charlotte and Thursday, Chicosci has toured with other groups from Asia and Australia. The band was part of the Crossborders event which was here and in Singapore in Dec. 2006, and of the recently-concluded Invasia Tour which covered countries such as Thailand, Malaysia and Singapore.

With guitarist Ariel Lumanlan, the newest addition to the group, Chicosci is currently busy writing new songs for their upcoming fifth album to be released within the year also by MCA-Universal Music.

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